Rev Chris’ Blog

Thought for the Month

Join me each month as I ponder life with all the highs and lows we encounter along the way.
I hope you enjoy my blog whose aim is to raise a smile as well as give food for thought.
As always, I would love to hear from you, so please contact me 01278 781147   c.judson@btinternet.com

God bless you.
Rev Chris


August 2024 ‘Some Thoughts’

I wonder what August means to you? Long, hot, sunny days….with the chance of a trip away?  Time with family and friends?  Or maybe haymaking and harvesting? For some it is a quiet time, for others it is busier than ever!  When I was a teacher, as we approached the summer holidays, there was a sense of ‘handing over’ the day-time care of our youngsters to their families, with the promise of a well-earned rest. When I think back to my own childhood I remember the freedom that my friends and I had, the chance to get up to all sorts of adventures and to delight in the lack of routine. 

In 8 BC, this month was renamed (from a Latin name, Sextilius, which simply meant ‘6th month’ – as that is what it was at the time) in honour of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar.  Apparently, he commandeered this month because it was the time of several of his great triumphs, including the conquest of Egypt.  During August, the church calendar reminds us of some amazing characters who have gone before us including Mary Sumner, Wiliam and Catherine Booth, John Bunyan, Florence Nightingale, Maximilian Kolbe, Octavia Hill and, of course, St Augustine – all well worth a look-up if you have time.  If gardening is your passion then August’s flower is the gladiolus or poppy, with its meaning of beauty, strength of character, love, marriage and family.

These days, for me, August is often a month of weddings (which we are delighted to celebrate!), time spent with people at all sorts of events (fayres, cream teas, car shows and festivals) and maybe even a spot of catching my breath… 

Whatever your August holds this year, may it bring with it an awareness of the love that surrounds you, the many blessings that are in your life and a chance for true re-creation. 

Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate Melon Day! (a national celebration in Turkmenistan on 11th August)     

God bless you,

Rev Chris   


July 2024 “Playing our part”

By the time you read this, I’m guessing that you will have heard rather a lot about our General Election, and may even have reached saturation point? Interestingly, it wasn’t until 1928, less than 100 years ago, that women in our country were finally able to vote on the same terms as men. It had been a long and hard journey, with many casualties along the way, among them Emmeline Pankhurst who was jailed 11 times in the cause, and died just weeks before the longed for true equality was established. Surely that is reason enough why at least half of our population really ought to make the most of our freedom to cast our vote?

As in our country, so in The Church of England. I am proud to be part of a church that is led by its clergy, but is governed by all of its people. At every level, just like our councils and government, the church has different levels of synod (its governing body) which listens, prays, debates and determines the way forward. At village level every adult living in the parish has a right to vote for their churchwardens (whether church members or not) and all on the church electoral role can elect their Parochial Church Council, then we have representative governing bodies from the local area (Deanery Synod), the diocese (Diocesan Synod) and across the country (General Synod). All this means that changes take quite a while to be brought to fruition – but it acknowledges that God’s wisdom works through us all, and that we all need to play our part.

It is easy to see ourselves as powerless: ‘What difference can one person make?’, but Jesus had many important things to say about the value of each and every person, especially in the context of the many. In exploring election issues, Alison Webster (General Secretary of Modern Church) highlights the paradox that, without individuals there is no collective; and yet the individual has no meaning apart from the collective. In the election process we focus on the different ways forward, the contrasting priorities and areas of debate and things necessarily get heated. Once the election has happened we then need to figure out how to move forward together, owning the collective result. Debate and challenge remain an essential part of our checks and balances, but fundamentally we are one country, one society, one body and we are called to work together for the good of all.

Once the election is done and the dust settles, I hope and pray that those elected will take on their roles and be enabled to carry us forward in a way that honours each and every member of our society. I am grateful to all who have been brave enough to put themselves forward as candidates, and pray that disappointments may be transformed into positive zeal to make things better wherever they are. As for each of us – may we, whether pleased or saddened by the overall result, commit ourselves to continuing to play our part in seeking the common good and building the best communities that we can be, where all are valued and each person belongs.                  

God bless you and lead you to the re-creation you need this summer!      

Rev Chris         

 

Key:
EH – East Huntspill     WH – West Huntspill      M – Mark

Look forward to seeing you.